NBA Draft 2013: Breaking Down the Biggest Steals

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2013

The 2013 NBA draft featured several steals.
The 2013 NBA draft featured several steals.Mike Stobe/Getty Images

A crazy night at the 2013 NBA draft saw many players slide down the board, making Ben McLemore one of the players who will be the biggest steals.

A full recap of Thursday night's draft can be found on the NBA's official website.

The surprises started with the No. 1 overall pick and didn't stop coming. Although this draft didn't have superstar potential, nobody could have predicted the craziness that unfolded at the Barclays Center.

Teams were trading picks throughout the first round, which led to a lot of confusion. Some of the players traded will turn out to be good steals.

Who joins McLemore as the biggest steals of the draft?


No. 6 Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans Pelicans): Nerlens Noel, C has the terms of this deal, which netted the Philadelphia 76ers a draft-night steal. Most of the first five teams could have used Noel, but he was still on the board at No. 6.

At first, it was a mystery as to why the Pelicans would take Noel with Anthony Davis already on the roster, but it made sense moments later when the proposed deal was announced. The Pelicans added Jrue Holliday to play point guard, so the trade worked for both teams.

Noel is still recovering from a torn ACL, which could explain why he fell in the draft.

The 19-year-old isn't a great offensive player, but his defensive abilities can help a team right away. He averaged 9.5 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 2.1 steals per game in his lone season at Kentucky.

Three big men—Anthony Bennett, Cody Zeller and Alex Len—went before Noel. Bennett and Zeller going before Noel was a surprise. Noel, who could have been the No. 1 pick, will now get a chance to prove his doubters wrong in Philadelphia.


No. 7 Sacramento Kings: Ben McLemore, G

Once the projected No. 1 overall pick, Ben McLemore found himself waiting awhile before he found his new home. 

With DeMarcus Cousins reportedly wanting a max contract or a trade, the Kings needed to find a player who would provide stability. Cousins is the only player under contract who averaged more than 14 points per game last year.

McLemore may be the best offensive talent in the draft.

He shot 49.5 percent from the floor and 42 percent from three-point range as a freshman at Kansas, and he also hit 87 percent of his free throws. He averaged 15.9 points per game as a Jayhawk.

The Kings were desperate for a scorer, and McLemore has the ability to catch fire and carry a team. The athletic guard has a fine shooting motion and should have no problem adjusting to life in the NBA.


No. 18 Dallas Mavericks (via Atlanta Hawks): Shane Larkin, PG

The terms of the trade are courtesy of Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas, and Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News isn't sure if the team will deal their top pick. The Mavs should hold onto Shane Larkin because he has the potential to be a very good player.

Larkin was arguably the most athletic player in the draft, and his performance at the combine made his stock rise. He had one of the highest vertical leaps ever and was one of the quickest players.

His size is the biggest issue. The 5'11" guard may not be the tallest player at his position, but he has the talent to do a little bit of everything.

The point guard shot 47.9 percent from the floor, including nearly 41 percent from three-point range. He averaged 4.6 assists per game as well, so he gets his teammates involved. 

Dallas ran the risk of missing out on Larkin by not taking him when he was on the board at No. 13. The Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks passed on Larkin, so the Mavericks were able to pick up a versatile point guard.

Dwight Howard is a free agent this summer. The Mavericks were trying to avoid taking on a lot of salary in the draft, and Larkin fell enough to make him affordable. With Dirk Nowitzki already on the team, the young point guard will turn out to be a huge steal.

*All stats are courtesy of